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‘I'll never forget the Champions League final!’ – Rodgers ready for 'dream' Merseyside derby at Anfield after following men's success

5:02 AM SGT 17/11/19
Amy Rodgers Jurgen Klopp split
The 19-year-old was in the stands in Madrid when Jurgen Klopp's side lifted the Champions League trophy, a moment she says she'll never forget

Liverpool midfielder Amy Rodgers may have grown up a Celtic fan, but her experiences following Jurgen Klopp’s side to Champions League glory mean she couldn’t be more excited to play at Anfield on Sunday.

The Reds’ women’s team will face local rivals Everton this weekend, playing at the club’s iconic ground for the first time in a Women’s Super League fixture.

And it will mean more than ever to Rodgers after she spent time celebrating in the stands in Madrid as Liverpool lifted their sixth European title in June.

“It was the best experience ever. I’ll remember that for the rest of my life," the 19-year-old tells Goal.

“I think it makes you realise how much it means to all the fans.

“You’re in the middle of them and going through Madrid all we could see was Liverpool shirts everywhere.

“It was sort of like a community as well. Although you were there with hundreds of thousands of strangers, you felt safe because everyone is there in a Liverpool shirt.

“It was so special to see that side of it.

“I’ve never been a die-hard Liverpool fan, but since I’ve been here, I’ve sort of fell in love with the club a bit.

“Going to watch the men’s games, it’s just an amazing atmosphere and it is so exciting.

“It is like a dream [to be playing at Anfield]. I just can’t wait.”

The Merseyside derby takes on a different meaning for Rodgers, who spent a lot of her time as a youngster with Everton.

It was from the Toffees that she joined Liverpool, making her debut for the Reds in 2017 as a 16-year-old, and she admits that it is still strange to come up against her former team – and former team-mates.

“At first it was very weird, especially when I was in the development squad because it was all my team-mates and I played for them for like four years,” the England youth international says.

“Elise Hughes, who I played with in the youth teams, is still there and there’s a couple still in the development squad as well that I’ll run into. It is still weird.

“But if you’ve played with [your opponent] in the past, you want to be beat them because you don’t want them having those bragging rights over you.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

I n c r e d i b l e 🏆🔴 #YNWA

A post shared by Amy Rodgers (@amy.rodgers_) on Jun 2, 2019 at 12:11pm PDT

 

Those aren’t the only bragging rights that will be up for grabs on Sunday, of course.

“Derbies are great. The atmosphere on the pitch and off the pitch as well, it’s what you play football for really," Rodgers adds.

“The fans contribute a lot to that because it means so much to the fans, but it means so much to us as well.

“The challenges are always harder, it means so much more to the players, it definitely always feels like that.”

A win this weekend is certainly more important to Liverpool and their season – and not just because the game is at Anfield.

The Reds are still without a win from their opening five games and sit bottom of the table with just one point, putting boss Vicky Jepson, who Rodgers knows very well, under pressure.

But the midfielder is fully behind her manager and believes the team can turn things around.

“Vicky’s great. When she [was appointed], it was like the ideal situation for me really because she’d known me for a while and was the person who actually got me in the first place from Everton to Liverpool.

“It is great having her because she does put that trust in young players and gives you the chance to get on the pitch and do your thing.

“I think we have been quite unlucky [this season] – the results have been very tight.

“There’s not a big problem. It’s just the little things that I think, if we could fix, we’d be able to change it and hopefully we can fix that at the weekend.

“It’s a massive game. Not only is it a Merseyside derby at Anfield, but we haven’t had the best start.

“If we can get a win, and hopefully we win, then this could be a turning point [for us].”